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Common condition went unmonitored, child develops brain damage

Even though there is a movement for natural, at-home births, there is a reason why most women in Toms River still go to the hospital to have a baby. Since most people trust doctors to safely deliver, care for and look after their children, giving birth in a hospital comes with certain expectations. For one, parents expect that doctors will monitor their children for some of the most common birth injuries and medical conditions. When they don't, most parents believe the physicians have committed malpractice and will sue them.

In a recent article we posted, we talked about an infant who was born with jaundice that was left untreated. Unfortunately, the child's physicians sent him home, telling his parents the condition would resolve itself, but it didn't. The child eventually developed very serious brain damage and will now need around-the-clock care for the rest of his life.

What's shocking about this story is not the seeming disregard for the mother's concern, but the fact that jaundice is an incredibly common condition and one that any doctor should have been able to diagnose and treat. It is not every day that an infant presents such clear signs of trouble: yellow-tinged eyes and skin. The doctors ignored it, however, and sent the new family home.

As we mentioned in our article, jaundice is caused by an infant's immature liver being unable to eliminate bilirubin in the bloodstream. As it is quite common in infants, doctors should monitor children showing signs of jaundice, providing phototherapy and other treatment as needed.

It is tragic that this child was left with severe brain damage because doctors refused to monitor him but, fortunately, his parents were able to secure $26 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit for his future care.

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